In the previous article on Skierg we focused on helping you to home in on good Nordic ski technique. The following set of drills is less about technique and more about introducing some additional ways to use the SkiErg.
First, if you have an injured or tired lower body or other physical limitations, the SkiErg may be used from a seated position to focus the work on the arms and core. You can work from a stool, wheelchair, or even a stationary bike—whatever is most workable and comfortable for you.
How to do it?
If you haven’t tried the classic (or "single-pole") technique—a feature of the second generation SkiErg—you should give it a try. While your scores won’t be as fast, it isolates one arm at a time, so you can work on the strength of each arm. It also adds an oblique aspect to the workout for the rest of the body, especially the core. Try rotating between single and double pulls every 10 strokes; or, try inserting 15 seconds of single-pole into every minute of a longer SkiErg session.
Here’s a drill that hits some different muscles and also builds balance: one-legged skierging. Rotate between 10 pulls standing on the right foot, 10 on the left, and 10 with regular two-footed stance. Other than keeping one foot off the ground, the technique is the same. These last two drills work the extremes of normal technique to add both range of motion and strength-building:
- High reach: Normally, you should start your pull with your arms slightly bent and hands just above your eyes. For this exercise, take 10 pulls where you reach as high as you can before finishing the stroke off normally. Be sure to bring the arms back down to a strong bent-arm position as you prepare to engage the core.
- SkiErg Squats: Start the pull with a normal reach, then finish in a squat position, aiming for horizontal thighs. You may want to set a stool or exercise ball behind you to serve as the target for your squat.
Note that neither of these moves are considered proper technique; this drill is about extreme positions.